Newmarket: further rain is forecast before Saturday's 2,000 GuineasPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Guineas ground likely to be on soft side of good
BRITAIN'S wettest April on record left its mark even on the historic Newmarket racecourse where the going changed on Tuesday to soft to increase the chance of Saturday's Qipco 2,000 Guineas being run on the slowest surface since 1998.
Rainfall totalling four inches fell during last month and a wet start to May has tested the Rowley Mile's renowned free draining qualities to the extent that meteorologist John Kettley ruled out the likelihood of good going because there is more rain to come.
Although Wednesday is likely to be dry further showers overnight into Thursday could result in 48-hour declarations for the first Classic of the 2012 Flat season being made with the going officially soft for a race that has been staged on good to firm or good ground in 23 out of the last 24 years. It was good to soft in 1998.
The change in conditions could concern John Oxx, trainer of third favourite Born To Sea, who said on Monday that slow ground would make it more of a stamina test for Sea The Stars' brother for whom he "wouldn't want a slog".
"It's been an unusually wet April," said Kettley, who advises Jockey Club Racecourses. "I still think it will be on the soft side of good. There is too much potential for rain. There is potential for rain in showery form and it's difficult to imagine it will dry out an awful lot. It's pretty soft at the moment.
"Newmarket does drain really well and you'd anticipate it would still be on the slow side for Saturday. The potential is still for something like 8mm to come."